The big bad Boston Bruins are no more thanks to last season. If you’d have told me last fall that the Bruins were going to miss the playoffs, trade Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic, and waste three consecutive first round picks in the McDavid draft (Zboril might turn out), I would’ve told you to take a walk of a short pier. Unfathomable is the word that comes to mind. How can a team drop from 3rd in offense to 22nd? But they found a way to do it and I’m thankful for it because through all of that Peter Chiarelli was fired and the Oilers snatched him up.
Key Additions: LW Matt Beleskey, RW Jimmy Hayes, LW Zac Rinaldo, and D Matt Irwin
Key Departures: D Dougie Hamilton, LW Milan Lucic, F Dan Paille, F Gregory Campbell, F Carl Soderberg, F Reilly Smith
The Losses of Soderberg, Hamilton and Lucic are huge to say the least. Still to this day I haven’t the foggiest clue as to why shiny new GM Don Sweeney and Seabass (Cam Neely) caved under the pressure of an offer-sheet and traded Dougie Hamilton. The Bruins were in a prime position to let Zdeno Chara gracefully ride into the sunset. Now they have to ride him like an old mule and it’s not going to be pretty.
Adding Beleskey and Hayes MIGHT soften the blow but they’re 3rd liners at best. They’re used to playing 4th line minutes so we can expect to see those shooting percentages to come back to earth. And signing Zac Rinaldo will prove to be the dumbest move of them all. Matt Irwin could have some value though. He’ll add some punch to the PP which already features some big clappers in Chara and Krug.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey – David Krejci – Jimmy Hayes
Loui Eriksson – Ryan Spooner – Brett Connolly
Chris Kelly – Joonas Kemppainen – Max Talbot
Zdeno Chara – Torey Krug
Dennis Seidenberg – Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller – Matt Irwin
Roster Contenders: F Alexander Khokhlachev, D Joe Morrow, F Joonas Kemppainen, G Malcolm Subban
2015/16 is going to be a tough one to endure not only for the veterans on the team who must be scratching their heads and wondering WTF, but for the fans as well. Their key players are only getting older and more beat up every year, especially Chara. So don’t get your hopes up.
I can’t see Boston ending the season in the basement of the Eastern Conference but I reckon they’ll be playing the roles of spoiler come the playoff drive. They’ll be sellers at the deadline that is for sure and expect some big names to get thrown around like Chara, Seidenberg, Eriksson, and Marchand. Maybe Bergeron and Rask if Sweeney and Neely put their heads together like they did on the Hamilton deal.
Then again they were supposed to make the post-season last year and they didn’t. Anything can happen. David Pastrnak is looking a player and if David Krejci can stay healthy who knows? That’s the beauty of hockey right?
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re enjoying our Season Primers series and let us know in the comments below if you agree with our assessments.
Alex Thomas from the Oilers Rig tells me that Boston can be a pretty cold place in the winter, so why not head on over to the Beer League Heroes Merch Shop and pick up a nice sweater, hoodie or long sleeve shirt with a 16-bit Boston Bruin on it? We’ve got Bergeron, Chara and Rask currently and all for a very recession-friendly price!
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